Ten Things That Can Distract You From God

Isn’t it hard to keep focused on God? I have tried so hard throughout my life to stay focused on Him. I so often say “this time I won’t fail”, but at one point or another, something always clips me from behind, and keeps me from exceeding!! Why?!

Well, I think it has to do with what we allow into our lives that can distract us from God. Not all of these things are “bad” in their nature…in fact, a lot aren’t, but they become a problem when we allow them to distract us from looking at, and to God. You know those things I’m talking about; they can be anything from a job, car, or movie, to fantasy football, Xbox Live, a magazine, or even church. There are so many things in this world that fight for our time…and when we allow them to take too much…well…we lose our focus. The answer is not necessarily to cut these distractions out entirely (in some cases it is), but to realize that they can distract us…and we need to keep them in check.

In the following paragraphs, I have listed 10 common things that can interfere with our walk with God.

1. Money

Money. I’m sure you all could have guessed this one would be on this list. Unfortunately the world and those in it believe we need it to live in this world. If you thought hard enough, you’ll know that this is not true. We must not however, be owned by it if we are to be not of this world. Money itself is not an interference in our walk with God…the love of it is. I think the following passage sums this up quite nicely (its long, I know…but when I read it, I felt all of it applies to this topic): Matthew 6:19-34

19 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

So in a nut shell, if we trust God, He will take care of us. That doesn’t mean we should quit our jobs UNLESS God directs you…we just need to realize that God is more important, and is far more capable of taking care of us than we are. Money might be the blood flow of the world, but it is not the blood flow of those who are in Jesus…faith is.

2. Media

Another big one; the media. This is probably one of the biggest distractions for me personally right now….I mean, just the other night, I realized I haven’t spent that much time praying this week…but instead of going and praying, I said to myself I’ll do it later because Star Trek (re-runs) are on and Perry Mason comes shortly thereafter.

It is easy to get caught up in the media. And when I say media, I’m referring to the Internet, TV, movies, music, video games, newspapers, magazines…all of it (broad, I know…but hey, I’m only making a list of 10 things here, so I can be a bit broad, right?). Like I said before, the media is dangerous because it is so easy to get consumed in it. Everywhere we turn, some sort of media is right in our face. And the worst part; it’s littered with filth.

Almost every commercial on TV, and every advertisement on the Internet is trying to convince us that we are missing something, and they are the ones that can fill the need. Our young girls and women are bombard by the media with how they should look, feel, and act…movies, music, TV shows…they all are horrible influences on us because they can subliminally tell us how to live, whats right and wrong, etc.

And video games…ahh, video games….give people the right one on the right week, and they won’t spend a free second with God.

I could literally go on and on about the media, and how distracting it is. The key to overcoming the media is to be wise in what we watch, read, play, etc, and in how much time we spend with it. We should always be willing to give it up, and quite honestly, some of the things we indulge in (in the media), we need to give up. If something is pure filth, we shouldn’t be giving it any time to influence us, no matter how funny, sexy, or “cool”, it is.

3. Church/Religion

Church, or religion. Believe it or not, these can be HUGE interference in our walk with God. Church does not do this intentionally, (Albeit, there are exceptions) but we can easily let it hinder our relationship with God. Why? The main reason I see is that it can be easy to pursue church, and beliefs about God, but forget to pursue God Himself. It is easy to go to church to…well…go to church, when the real reason we should be going church is to refuel for our week by coming together with fellow believers to worship and meditate on God hopefully on the same page about things.

Also, somewhere along the way, at so many churches, people have gotten the idea that we need to pretend to be perfect at church. That if we show our weaknesses and struggles, we’ll become outcasts…and since so many people parade around in this stained glass masquerade, if one person does reveal their weaknesses, they’re easily looked down upon. This is opposite of what church is supposed to be. Church is really the body of believers. We are supposed to help each other, hold each other accountable, pray for each other, and love one another!

To keep church from becoming a distraction from God, make sure you are pursuing God before pursuing “beliefs” about Him, or church/religion. We need to get past religion and into a relationship. It starts with you! Love your brothers and sisters, be open to people, and DO NOT CONDEMN others when they fail!! Condemn the sin, not EVER a repentant brother or sister.

4. Relationships

Relationships. I’m sure you knew this one would be here. Every kind of relationship falls into this category; friends, parents, siblings, spouses, girl/boy friends, children, co-workers, bosses, etc. We can allow any of these relationships to distract us from God. It is our relationships that are our connection with the world, and it is our human nature to have them, but when we allow any one of these relationships threaten to become more important to us than God…well, they become a distraction. Remember, God calls us to love one another (1 John 3:11), so when we do, it is an act of obedience to God. But don’t forget about God in the process. We need to make sure we are giving God ample time everyday. We were created for His pleasure, not our own.

I would have to say the relationship with the most danger of becoming a distraction from our walk with God would be that of a boy-friend, girl-friend, or spouse. These relationships in their nature, demand the most time, and that is why it is extremely important that they are centered around God. If they aren’t, you will see your walk with God spiraling downward. In a dating relationship, don’t compromise your morals.

In a nut shell, relationships are extremely important, but our relationship with God is of the utmost importance. Remember that!

5. Routine

Routine. This is a common thing I allow myself to get distracted by all the time. The most important thing is that spending time with God should be in your routine! Far too often do we just squeeze God in when we have down time (I am extremely guilty of this). Its so easy to get caught up in all the things we have to do, like work, posting (blogger) on the internet, eat, sleep, etc. I often find sleep getting in the way! I mean, if I didn’t spend that extra hour sleeping in, I would have a whole hour with nothing to do but seek God!

So make sure spending time with God is a part of our routine. And also, make sure you are willing to abort your routine, and let God have complete control.

6. Work

Work, work, work. What a distraction this can be! And I’m not just referring to a job, I mean everything from a job, to leading worship, a bible study, or anything! I personally have often allowed this site and my websites to become a distraction from God. I want it to bless people, I want it to look good, I want it…I…I..I…but all that I should really be worrying about is that I am doing it as God wants me to, if I do that, He’ll take care of the rest. I love this following Scripture:

38 “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” -Luke 10:38-42

It is easy to get caught up on our duties, but the most important thing is that we do it entirely for the Lord. They are to glorify God, not ourselves. That being said, sometimes the duty we have is not as important as doing something else. We always need to be flexible! This falls in line with routines as well. We can have great motives behind our work, but sometimes we let the work become more important then “listening to Jesus”. Listen and be flexible!

7. Our Hobbies

Hobbies. I love hobbies! I have a huge rang of them; from fixing things, doing research, to cooking, and watching movies, digital photos, and numerous other outdoor enjoyments. The dangerous thing about them is that they can consume a lot of our time. A great way to keep them in check is to do them with God in mind! Like worshiping God with music. Also, we can play video games or sports, etc. with people to develop relationships. Having hobbies is a great way to get yourself around people to be a godly influence…so keep that in mind.

8. Desiring a blessing from God, more than God Himself.

Desiring a blessing from God, more than desiring God Himself. I have to be honest, this is easy to fall into, at least for myself. It can be real easy to pray for a specific thing over and over again, but forget about spending time with God. And FYI, we should NEVER ask God over and over about a topic, everyone that asks, receives. When you are repetitive, that doubt.

Anyway, and example: would be like a husband wanting that special “perk” he gets from his wife, without wanting to give any time to other parts of their relationship. Remember, its “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you. ( Ref Matthew 6:33), its not “first seek all these other things” Amen or oh me?

9. The Pastor

The Pastors! What!? Whats this doing on the list!?…Well, to your relief, I don’t mean your pastor exactly (at least I hope not). What I’m referring to is becoming dependent upon your pastor- this includes the TV ministers; that for the most part, as I have seen are not teaching proper doctrines. See the following video here > V I D E O 

This can be a really deadly interference in our walk with God. It is not our pastors responsibility to feed us all we need to be spiritually healthy…it is our responsibility. A lot of people fall into the habit of only giving God Sunday morning and those false ministers on the boob tube. This would be like only eating once a week! If we did this, we would be horribly malnourished! And sadly, this is the case for many spiritually. The pastor is a, or should be, great leader, but he should only be that…nothing more.

10. Ourselves

Ourselves. Us. The last one on the list of distractions, and possibly the most likely to distract us. We are, by nature, sinful (the old man’s left over resin), and if we live by the old man’s nature, we will not get close to God. That is why we need to die to ourselves, and live in Christ (Romans 6:11). But no matter what we do, there will be a constant battle within ourselves between Spirit and flesh (Romans 7:15-21). That is why we need to constantly allow God to search our hearts, and purify it (Psalm 139:23-24). The first step to overcoming ourselves is being aware.

So there we have it. A list of 10 common things that can distract us from God. There are more that could be added to the list, or somewhat in the lists here already; but suffice to say, these are the BIG one’s.

It is a constant struggle to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, and to not become distracted by the passing concerns and things of this world. But if we are aware of what can, and does, interfere with our walks with God, we can begin to take the necessary actions to prevent them. Remember, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you (Matthew 6:33), let God take care of the rest. Do your part, and I know He’ll do His!

Have a great Sunday!

 

 

 

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The Optimist Creed

Promise yourself . . .

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Credit: Christian D. Larson –1912

-LOL! 😀

 

Taking Risks

To Take a Risk….

  • To laugh is to risk appearing a fool.
  • To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
  • To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
  • To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
  • To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
  • To love is to risk not being loved in return.
  • To live is to risk dying.
  • To hope is to risk despair.
  • To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.

He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live. Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom. Only a person who risks is free. The pessimist complains about the wind, the optimist expects it to change and the realist adjusts the sails.


Mk 11:22 “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

Our Original Face

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*”I recently lost my brother-in-law, Mike … never really got to spend a lot

of time with him. In short, we never had been close until recently. It’s still 

unknown as to what killed him. Things just looked “funny.” Anyway, what

a way to spend the day after Christmas, seeing your brother and new-found 

friendship dead at a scene reminiscent of a Columbo crime scene. I’m dedicating

this post to Mike. I believe Mike was finding himself, was …getting back on track,

but had a lot of luggage he just did not need. No worries now 😦 …I miss ya Mike-

still can’t believe you’re gone!”

-Marty (Moraldiplomat)

Note: I’m not really sure how the following will mean to you, but I know what it means to me. Thanks for taking time to read.  I hope you can glean something from it. Much love to you all in these uncertain times.

new_self

Our Original Face

Who were you before you were born (Job 31:15)? What was your face before your parents were born? Can you imagine yourself being a thousand years younger? Who will you be after this world, in eternity (1 Jn 3:2)? In a thousand years from now? Who are you now…here. Deep down, really, truly, authentically, basically, simply (Phil 1:6,Col 1:27 with Philem 1:6).

The answer to all these questions is the same, and once you know, you know. You remember…it is just a case of remembering. The way I see it is this: Virtually from the day we’re born we begin to play roles. We start to adapt, to fit in, to conform. Throughout our lives we will play thousands of roles (Daughter, Son, Mother, Father, Friend, Grandparent, Stockbroker, Bus Driver etc.)

The problems come when we become too identified with these roles. We forget that we are the one who is playing the role. The word “personality” comes from the root word “persona”, which means mask. We wear millions of different masks throughout our lives, changing them for every role, every occasion.

The trouble is we do this unconsciously and eventually begin to see ourselves as others see us (1 Sam 16:7). We start to look at ourselves through other people’s eyes (James 4:4), from the outside in. We forget that we are the ones behind the mask, looking out. We allow ourselves to be pushed and pulled away from our true, real, authentic center, our home (2 Cor 5:17).

We will have many, many different experiences, but we are none of them. We are the one who is having the experience, the experience-er. Life is a dream and we are the dream-er. The eye of the hurricane, the real center (Rom 8:9).

If we begin to think of ourselves as the role, the mask, the dream or the experience, sooner or later these ideas will become more solid and they will become imaginary walls around us – separating us from each other and from existence itself. This is hell; this is illusion.

Basically it is essential to, at some point, witness all of this going on. Through focusing our thoughts and heart onto God; the Creator of all life, spending time alone with Him etc., you can gain a glimpse of your Real Self / True Nature / Original Face- what God in Heaven intended us to be.

Once this has happened, it is so much easier to see all the layers of personality, conditioning and falsity we have allowed to be integrated into our being from the poisons of the world.

We can peel it away like peeling an onion or carve it away like Michelangelo releasing the ‘angel’ from the marble. But the trick is that once you can see it and feel how heavy it is, how constricting, what a burden…(1 Peter 5:7) it is pretty easy to drop it, to surrender to the will of God; calling out to Him for help, to just let it go, renewing our minds to what God has done inside our born again spirits (Rom 12:2).

To me this is the most essential thing in life, because by doing this you understand what is Love/Freedom/Peace/God/Reality/(Rom 6:11). You understand that the essence of who you are in the Lord and are no longer in a state of being “lost.” (Rom 8:1)

In that moment, you have come back home (Lk 15:4).

Credit: Anonymous

The Right Comparison

compare

A person can potentially use comparisons to mess up his life. For example, a person can go to the most elegant restaurant which employs the greatest chef. He can order the most expensive food. Then for the rest of his life he can say about any other meal, “This isn’t as good as the meal I once had in that five-star restaurant.”

I recently related this example to a group of tourists. They laughed. And then one spoke up and said, “I just realized that I do this all the time. Just last night at the fancy hotel we were staying at, my first comment after the meal was, ‘This wasn’t as good as the food I ate at another restaurant five years ago.’ I didn’t realize how foolish this response is.”

Our patterns of comparisons will either be a way we prevent ourselves from enjoying what we have, or a way by which we gain a greater sense of appreciation. A sage once said, “In spiritual matters look up and raise your sights. But when it comes to material and physical matters look down.” That is, in spiritual matters keep looking for role models to motivate yourself to reach higher and higher levels. But when it comes to appreciating your possessions and your financial situation, look at those who have less than you and gain a greater sense of appreciation for what you have.

2 Cor 10:12 “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”

6 Things Happy People Never Do

happy_people

Happy people do a lot of things. They spend time expressing gratitude, cultivating optimism, practicing kindness, nurturing loving relationships, committing to meaningful goals, savoring life’s little pleasures, and so on and so forth.

But they NEVER

1. Mind other people’s business.

Forget about what others are doing. Stop looking at where they are and what they have. Nobody is doing better than you because nobody can do better than you. YOU are walking your own godly path. Sometimes the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes circumstances with everyone else’s public highlight reel. We listen to the noise of the world, instead of ourselves, moreover that small still voice  of God. So stop the comparisons! Ignore the distractions. Listen to that small inner voice. Mind your own business.

Keep your best wishes and your biggest goals close to your heart and dedicate time to them every day for the sake of others. Don’t be scared to walk alone (God loves you!), and don’t be scared to enjoy it. Don’t let anyone’s ignorance, drama, or negativity stop you from being the best you can be or be a blessing to others. Keep doing what you know in your heart is right. Because when you are focused on meaningful work and at peace within yourself, almost nothing can shake you.

2. Seek validation of self-worth from others.

When you are content to simply be of good moral character, without comparing and competing to impress others, everyone worthwhile will respect you. And even more importantly, you will respect yourself.

How are you letting others define you or change you? What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? Do you walk as the world or as an individual?

Truth be told, no one has the right to judge you; and how can they if you are walking a moral righteous path? People may have heard your stories, and they may think they know you, but they can’t feel what you are going through; they aren’t living YOUR life. So forget what they think and say about you. Focus on how you feel about yourself; be more concerned about how much God loves you and is very pleased with you, and keep walking the path that God has placed under your feet.

Those who walk with you are your friends. Those who don’t are not your problem-pray for them. If someone calls you something and it’s true, it’s not your problem because it’s true. If someone calls you something and it’s not true, it’s not your problem because it’s not true. Either way, whatever they call you is not your problem. What other people call you is their problem…apparently you are a hot topic in their boring life.

What you call yourself, and who you decide to become, is your problem.

3. Rely on other people and external events for happiness.

Unhappiness lies in that gap between what we have now and what we think we need. But the truth is, we don’t need to acquire anything more to be content with what we already have. We don’t need anyone else’s permission to be happy. Your life is magnificent not because someone says it is, or because you have acquired something new, but because you choose to see it as such. Don’t let your happiness be held hostage. It is always yours to choose, to live and experience.

As soon as you stop making everyone and everything else responsible for your happiness, the happier you’ll be. The reverse is the same; no one is responsible for your failures either. If you’re unhappy now, it’s not someone else’s fault. Take full responsibility for your own unhappiness or mistakes, and you will instantly gain the ability to be happier clearing the way for you to help others walk the same path. Stop seeking in vain to arrange conditions that will make you happy. Simply choose to appreciate the greatness that is yours in this moment, and the right conditions will start to line up around the contentment you seek.

The greater part of your happiness or unhappiness depends upon your outlook, and not upon our situation. Even if things aren’t perfect right now, think of all the beauty still left around you. A good reason to smile is always one thought away; choose to tap into it any time you like.

4. Hold on to resentment.

Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghosts from your past. What happened in the past is just one chapter in your story; don’t close the book, just turn the page.

We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others, and while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long. Feelings of resentment urge us to relive the same pain over and over, and we have a hard time letting go.

Forgiveness is the remedy. It allows you to focus on the future without combating the past. To understand the infinite potential of everything going forward is to forgive everything already behind you. Without forgiveness, wounds can never be healed and personal growth can never be achieved. It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.

5. Spend prolonged periods of time in negative environments.

You can’t make good moral positive choices for the rest of your life without an environment that makes those choices easy, natural, and enjoyable. So protect your spirit and soul; even your mind from contamination by limiting your time with negative people and the environments they inhabit. If you’re not inspiring them then they are teaching your their ways and they may not be blessing you; but even hindering your blessings.

When other people invite you to act like victims, when they whine and moan about the unfairness of life, for example, and ask you to agree (pity party), to offer condolences, and to participate in their grievances, WALK AWAY. When you join in that game of negativity you always lose. Misery also loves company- Never show up at pity parties

Even when you’re alone, have a “God’s Word” mental space for yourself. Make it a point to give up all the thoughts that make you feel bad, or even just a few of them that have been troubling you, give them trouble to the Lord and watch how fast they don’t seem such a burden. You don’t need negative thoughts. They are all lies. They solve nothing. All they have ever given you is a false self that suffers for no reason.

6. Resist the truth.

It is a certain deathtrap when we spend our lives learning how to lie, because eventually these lies grow so strong in our minds that we become bad at seeing, telling and living our own truth. Lives come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies. If you resist the truth, you will live a lie every day as the truth haunts your thoughts every night. You simply can’t get away from your truth by moving dishonestly from one place to the next.

So don’t bend; don’t sugar-coat things; don’t water it down; don’t try to hide the truth with deception; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion of what’s popular in the news or the world. It is better to offer no explanation or excuse than a false one. It takes courage and strength to admit the truth, but it is the only way to truly live. Accept what is, embrace it fully, and live for the possibilities that lie ahead.

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future;
it is something you design into the present.

transformation

It’s Called Giving

its called giving

One evening I was going back from a shopping center. As I have approached my car, I noticed that some person came and stood beside me. He was the one that could be considered as a bum. It seemed that he had no car, no home, no job. I expected that he will ask me for money, but he did not do that, he only said: “Your car is very nice“.

After several moments of silence I have replied: “Thanks“, and then this inner voice said to me: “Ask him if he needs help“. After a short hesitation I asked him, if he needed any help. His response was astonishing, I will never forget those simple three words that I heard him say: “Don‘t we all?”

It was a true discovery to me. I needed help. Even though I had money and a place to sleep, I recognized that I needed help too. Then I opened my wallet and gave him enough money to get a meal and some shelter for a day.

Suddenly I understood that no matter how much money, achievements, luxury things we have, we all need help. No matter how poor you are, how many material problems you have, you still might offer your help to others, you still might be giving. Even if it’s just a nice word, you can give that and it can be priceless to another person.

Maybe that man was just a homeless stranger, but to me he was more than that. Maybe he was an angel sent by God personally to me. To open my eyes, to show me that there is one thing, among all other values and achievements, and it is called Giving.